Re: In need of fishing spots near by.
When it comes to the Mississippi, just find a spot and fish. Keep doing this until you find what you're looking for. Wing dams are a good start though.
One thing that can be invaluable is some sort of fishing log or journal. Use Google Earth coordinates and photos to keep track of where you have fished and if it was productive. Also keep records of the daily weather,water temp if possible, what fish you caught and what you caught them on.
The other thing I will add is that if you don't already have a sinking line or some sink tips, it would be wise to invest in some.